Words by Smiley Team
Native American students at the University of California will have one less thing to worry about soon, as a new push by the University to make up for the mistreatment of Native Americans will look to cover the tuition of these students.
“I am proud of the efforts the University has made to support the Native American community, including the creation of the UC Native American Opportunity Plan,” University of California system President Michael V. Drake, wrote in a letter.
“I am hopeful that this new program will benefit our students and continue to position the University of California as the institution of choice for Native American students.”
The tuition waivers will be available to all in-state students who are members of federally recognized Native American, American Indian, and Alaska Native tribes, and the waiver doesn’t require financial need.
In the current student body, this amounts to about 500 undergraduates and 160 graduate students according to University of California statistics.
In alignment with the University of California, the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria announced a $2.5 million scholarship fund. This fund will cover the tuition of students that aren’t part of federally recognized tribes but still identify as Native American.
“California Native American students now have a clear path to the nation’s top public education system with no financial roadblocks,” said FIGR Tribal Chairman Greg Sarris, in a statement.
Along with the funds for students from non-federally recognized tribes, the $2.5 million will also help cover any supplementary needs for those from federally recognized tribes.
The tuition waiver and third-party scholarship will aim to even the playing field and deepen Native American representation at the University of California.
“As an American Indian that went through the school system and saw the benefits of what higher education can do in terms of shaping me as a leader for my people, able to speak the language of finance and government, it’s crucial to a tribe’s continuance and success,” Sarris told the Chronicle of Higher Education.
DONATE: If you want to donate to a fund helping students afford school check out Step Up for Students.
SUPPORT: For funds supporting Native Americans check out the Native American Rights Fund.